Childhood obesity is at epidemic levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control, kids between 6 and 11 years old are the worst off, with nearly 19 percent in the U.S. being obese.
So, it should come as no surprise that the number of young children on prescription drugs for heartburn and other digestive problems jumped about 56 percent in recent years. The surge was found in a Medco Health Solutions Inc. analysis. It suggests that more than 2 million U.S. children 18 and under used drugs for digestive or gastrointestinal complaints last year.
“It’s a signal that something’s going on that we need to keep an eye on,” said Dr. Robert Epstein, Medco’s Chief Medical Officer.
Parents increasingly are demanding that doctors prescribe medicine for reflux, which is likely due at least in part to the direct-to-consumer marketing, so common on TV these days. But parents should consider a weight loss program that treats the real problem rather than treating symptoms that will last a lifetime if their unhealthy habits don’t change.